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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T013680/1
Title: Multimaterial Stereolithography by Crosslinking through Luminescence Excitation
Principal Investigator: Marques-Hueso, Dr J
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Photocentric Ltd
Department: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 08 January 2020 Ends: 07 July 2022 Value (£): 278,350
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 Oct 2019 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 8 and 9 October 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping or 3D printing refer to a myriad of manufacturing techniques that build an object in a layer-by-layer approach. It represents a revolution in manufacturing because it is non-specific for an industry and many companies from different sectors benefit from being able to produce customised samples in-house at high speed and with a lower amount of residues and CO2 footprint. For this reason, the 3D printing market is in expansion, and its global value is projected to increase at a CAGR of 21.8% from 2019 to 2025

There are many 3D printing techniques, all of which present advantages and disadvantages. Only a few techniques are low-cost, which is crucial for enabling their use by a high number of users and having a higher societal impact. This is the case of FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) and some photopolymer techniques such as Stereolithography (SLA), Digital Light Processing (DLP) and Liquid Crystal Display printing (LCD).

A second limitation is the achievable resolution that determines whether an object is "smooth-to-eye" or if the layers are visible. Thirdly, few technologies are able to print with more than one colour in the same object, or with different materials integrated in the same piece, let alone mixing conductive and non-conductive materials in a sample. Currently, there is no technique that can overcome these three limitations at the same time.

The vision underpinning this project is to develop a new 3D printing technology capable of producing multimaterial/multicolour objects for the first time, while maintaining both high resolution and low cost.

For this ambitious target, MUSCLE aims to develop a new platform for photopolymer 3D printing that will enable the sequential printing of 3D pieces with different resins. The method will be applicable to cost-efficient photopolymer printers with minor modifications. It will be based on the use of engineered optical materials and printing at different wavelengths.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk